For the Reader: Top 10 Best SEO and Social Media Books

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Top 10 Best SEO and SMM bookMore and more people are turning to the Internet when it comes time to learn a skill or learn more about a topic; however there is not denying that books (actual in-your-hand, turn-the-page books) have their benefits. Those who really want to sit down and read extensively about something often find that it is easier to read a book than read an article online for a few hours. Books are tangible, so you can write notes easier, read on the beach or somewhere comfortable, and give your eyes a break from the computer screen that you’ve likely been starting at all day at work.

Reading a book regarding SEO best practices is great because there is so much that goes into SEO and all the falls under the SEO umbrella—social media, content management, Google updates, etc. It takes a very long time to really get a good grasp on this still-new topic, so books are a great way to help you gain a well-rounded understanding. Below are ten of the top SEO books from 2012 until today:

1. The Link Building Book; by: Paddy Moogan
This is one of the most recent SEO books to surface and it was written by the leading industry expert Paddy Moogan, who works for the highly-acclaimed website Distilled. He writes 287 pages all about link building. Search Engine Watch author Julie Joyce writes, “I read it and kept thinking ‘that’s awesome that he’s talking about that and never once thought ‘wow that’s b.s.’”

2. Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing; by: Lee Odden
Odden is someone I have been following for quite some time, and I always feel as though he has a strong handle on everything he chooses to write. This book does a good job of bringing in all of the aspects under the SEO umbrella and explaining how they should work together to really create success.

3. The Art of SEO; by: Eric Enge, Stephen Spencer, Rand Fishkin, and Jessica Stricchiolia
This is considered one of the most popular and most detailed books about SEO out there today. It was written by more than one industry expert, so you get a wide range of opinions and information. It has over 500 pages and covers every little thing you would need to know.

4. SEO Fitness Workbook; by: Jason McDonald
The cool thing about this book is the fact that it offers more than just text. It comes with worksheets and other toolbooks that help you find free SEO tools online, so you walk away with practical advice and resources you can really use. The author, Jason McDonald, is also highly established with a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and his B.A from Harvard.

5. SEO for Content Writers and PR Pros; by: Phil Byrne
This is another book with great Amazon reviews. It focuses on a lot of content-based advice discussing blog posts, website content, PR articles, and even stories. It helps give you an idea of what people really want and how to translate that onto your website and market the content the best way you can.

6. Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics; by: Brian Clifton
Understanding Google Analytics alone is important, yet it can be overwhelming to someone who is new to the tool or even to someone who only has a basic understanding. This is a great book for those really interested in understanding how to take advantage of this popular tool.

Great for Beginners:

7. Search Engine Optimization for Dummies; by: Peter Kent
This book is what you would expect—easy to understand beginners’ material. New editions are constantly being published so you are sure to get the most up-to-date information.

8. SEO for Beginners; by: Amit Bhawnani
If you look on Amazon, you will find many reviews that all gave this book five stars and glowing reviews. It’s only 55 pages long and it takes a comic approach to SEO, which helps make the content more fun to read for those who are just starting out.

9. Fifty SEO Ideas: Free Tips, Secrets, and Ideas for Search Engine Optimization; by: Jason McDonald.
A great book for beginners, you don’t have to worry about getting confused with very advanced details. It offers lots of step-by-step instructions about things that small businesses can use right away.

10. SEO King: How I Built My Blogging Empire; by: Jason Blair
It is always helpful to hear a real story about someone who has made it happen through good SEO, and that is exactly what Blair does in his book. He started with a small budget and grew his blog to be one of the biggest around, so this book is not only helpful, but inspiring.

Extra Tips and Tricks Regarding SEO Books

It’s important to realize that SEO is always changing, so the date the book was written does matter. You will want to be weary of some of the practices that may have changed, so it’s always good to double-check with current articles a few of the things you learned while reading. All of the books discussed above were either written this year or last year in 2012. I haven’t read all of these books, but made sure to research what each detailed to offer this list.

Have you read or published an SEO book that you found helpful? What did you find so helpful about reading? Was there a particular section that jumped out at you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Photo Credit:

Amanda DiSilvestro

Amanda DiSilvestro

Online Content Editor/Writer at HigherVisibility
Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for HigherVisibility, a... Read Full Bio
Amanda DiSilvestro
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  • Lexy

    To be honest, I usually remember the covers or authors of book, not the title so it’be great if you could add some pictures πŸ™‚

    “SEO is always changing, so the date the book was written does matter”
    Sure, but there are some rules that stays the same for a very long time. For example, for years we’ve been talking about diversion in link building techniques, anchor texts, landing pages etc., only now it’s much more important than in the past.

    • Amanda DiSilvestro

      I completely agree with you. There are many tactics that haven’t changed over the years, and that is why sometimes even older books are still incredibly relevant. I feel like there are probably more new things that have been added as opposed to old things that have become obsolete in the SEO field.

      Really sorry about not adding photos–that would have been a great idea. I’ll see if I can talk with John and make some changes to this article! If not feel free to email me and I’ll send you the article with photos πŸ™‚

  • Tom

    300 pages about link building – that’s really amazing! Amanda, did you find anything new & undiscovered?

    • Amanda DiSilvestro

      I read two of these books right when I started working in the SEO field after I graduated (was going to be a high school English teacher but found my calling here!), so everything was a tad new to me. I probably learned the most when I read about Google analytics because there are so many advanced features and things that seem sort of hidden!

      Does anyone else have anything to share about what they learned?

  • hftushar

    Nice List. From these, I have only read “The Art of SEO”. Now, It seems that I have to read all of those to get me more into smart SEO world.

    • Amanda DiSilvestro

      That is probably one of the most popular and most detailed, so I think you’re definitely on a good path! I wouldn’t burn yourself out reading tons and tons of books at once. Go out and practice a bit first, and then read something else to help you get more advanced. Thanks for reading!

  • Rudd

    Hey, great lists of great books. I have read few free SEO ebooks by few bloggers, but I believe these SEO books are much better in terms of content and techniques they use.

    Ps: So bad that I’ve never read any of these πŸ™

    • Amanda DiSilvestro

      It’s never too late! I think you make a good point, too, about the quality of content. There are definitely many ebooks and online articles that are well-written and detailed, but these are often mixed in with less-than-great content. You won’t usually find that in a book!

  • Lasik

    Thank you for the post but i want to ask you one thing now a days people are not understanding difference between SEO and Social media they just think that social media is everything some times people or business owner think that SEO is only Social media

    • Amanda DiSilvestro

      All the more reason to read some of these books πŸ™‚ Although they are related, there is most certainly a difference!

  • abhishek

    Well, I have recently picked up SEO for dummies. And I am so glad that the language and concept is lucid enough to make sense. I hope to migrate from it soon though and take up some updates pro stuff. This lists looks useful for the purpose. Would need to research and narrow down to the one I can buy. Thanks!

  • Kristi Jane

    I think you have a great list here but for my money I want a book that is not in print because it can become dangerously outdated with the release of the next big update by Google. Think Penguin and anchor text for the most recent example. Sites lost their rankings left and right because of their unnatural link profiles – which is the opposite of what many of the books were telling people which was to put their keywords in the anchor text when building incoming links.